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SEO Leads are Declining — with Catherine Maley, MBA (Ep. 258)

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we’ll talk about why SEO leads are declining, and how to stay ahead of the curve. To be sure, we’ll also discuss the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, in general

Indeed, I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of “Your Aesthetic Practice – What your patients are saying”. Also, I’m a consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and more profits.

Presenting today’s episode titled, “SEO Leads are Declining — with Catherine Maley, MBA.”

Obviously, Even the most skilled and experienced surgeons can struggle to attract new patients and grow their practice without leads. Because just like a human body needs blood flow to survive,

Furthermore, you need leads to keep your cosmetic practice alive. Certainly, you depend on a steady flow of cash-paying patients willing to pay a fair price for your services.

So, leads are your lifeblood. Without them, your whole operation (pun intended) comes to a screeching halt. In similar fashion, when the leads dry up, nobody notices until it’s too late and your schedule is empty.

Specifically, leads provide a consistent source of new patients, help you stay visible to prospective patients searching for your services online, allows for specialization so you can focus on an area of expertise, and helps ensure you stay up-to-date with technology and patient trends.

⬇️ Click below to hear “SEO Leads are Declining — with Catherine Maley, MBA.”

SEO Leads Are Declining
SEO Leads are Declining: Current Situation

Currently, you’re probably paying an internet company $2-5K per month to keep your Website updated and use SEO to get you leads organically. But how’s that working for you?

Surgeons tell me daily those free leads have slowed down. If you, too, noticed a significant reduction in your organic traffic and leads recently, you’re not alone. Google just completed rolling out the largest algorithm update in the company’s history.

However, many practices are complaining their website is being outranked by spam and/or by plagiarized low-quality AI content. This abuse is manipulating search rankings and making it challenging for google to deliver accurate results (and for your website to rank). It seems Google is unable to reliably tell the difference between human-generated and generative AI content. So marketers are having a field day exploiting AI to try and highjack good rankings. By clogging up the internet with keyword-stuffed junk, they’re making it tougher and more expensive for Google to separate the good from the bad content.

BTW, Google derives over 75% of its revenue from ads on search engine results pages, so  the fluctuations in search volume affects their ad revenues if businesses no longer see a good return on their ad budget and go elsewhere.

Since all of this affects you big time if you are attempting to attract new cosmetic patients via organic SEO, here are 5 recommendations to help you rank:

SEO Leads are Declining: Focus on high-quality UNIQUE content that AI cannot duplicate:

Create informative, engaging, and trustworthy content that provides value to prospective cosmetic patients. The use of quotations, statistics, and writing in an authoritative tone, makes content more likely to be cited in responses generated by large language models like ChatGPT.

Knowing that, you can upload your consumer guides and research papers sighting big name publications, universities and/or medical organizations.

From that, you can write press releases about your guides and research papers and post them on numerous PR sites such as and The fees range from free to a few hundred dollars.

And to really turn up the uniqueness, make a video talking about it, because your voice and visuals are way more likely to be ranked by google because they cannot be duplicated by AI.

SEO Leads are Declining: Optimize for human-generated content:

Google likes content from sources that are more likely to be human generated content such as Reddit groups, as well other forums and discussions. For example, I googled, “Have you had a Mommy Makeover?” and an entire page of Reddit Forum search results popped up.

Knowing that, you could jump into a conversation the audience is having to offer your expertise (just like you did on RealSelf) by explaining what a mommy makeover is. Keep it 100% educational NOT promotional, but do add a sentence that says:

Please feel free to email me at X or send me a direct message here on Reddit if you have any questions.

BTW, the leads will come from far away and not be the best quality, but its adding to your digital footprint online giving you credibility and every little bit helps.

SEO Leads are Declining: Be sure your internet company is monitoring algorithm updates:

Adjusting your SEO strategy accordingly. For example, they should regularly be checking reputable SEO blogs and websites like Search Engine Land or Moz, for the latest news and insights.

SEO Leads are Declining: Prioritize your patients’ experience:

Focus on providing an excellent patient experience to build trust and loyalty, which lead to positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals. And make videos interacting with your patients. For example, at a patient’s post-op appointment, do a rhino reveal and capture the patient’s reaction. Or, show the patient their before body photos and compare them to their new look.

Now ask them simple questions such as:

  • What do you think?
  • Are you happy with your results?
  • Any advice for others considering it?

In these videos, your letting your patients tell others how awesome you are, how good they feel, and how they wish they had done it sooner. While you’re at it, ask these happy patients to give you a Google review and walk them through it on their cell phone, to make it easy for them to complete.

Lastly, remind them how much you appreciate their loyalty and support and you would appreciate them referring their friends and family.

SEO Leads are Declining: Diversify search traffic:

With the rise of search engine competitors such as ChatGPT, Bing, Reddit and social media platforms, it makes sense to diversify your search traffic to reduce reliance on Google.

For example, bump up your social media efforts and post several times a week and send fun and engaging emails to your current patient list at least 2x a month.


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Picture of Catherine Maley

Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.


Beauty and the Biz is for Plastic Surgeons who know they don’t know everything and are open to discovering the pearls to grow and scale a sellable asset when they’re ready to exit.

Listen in as Catherine interviews surgeons who talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and listen to Catherine’s pearls from consulting with plastic surgeons since Year 2000.



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